A Memory Called Empire by Arkady Martine was a rich and wonderful read. The galaxy it’s set in is awe-inspiring and full of novelty, yet it is also very familiar, which makes it an easy read.
The plot follows a young diplomat from a small mining station, Mahit Dzmare, on her assignment to the sprawling, consuming empire.
The empire has conquered and ‘civilized’ many worlds and Mahit fell in love with their culture as a child. She’s thrilled to get to experience it and dreams of becoming part of the empire.
Her mining colony uses technology that records memories. The technology embedded into her brain allowing her to share the experiences of the former ambassador malfunctions. Not only that, the former ambassador is dead under mysterious circumstances.
This novel has political intrigue, mystery, and a simmering tension about to break out into civil war.
The impression of the empire is beautiful and also not something I’d want to become a part of. There was aching longing intertwined with ugly reality. I eagerly returned to this novel every day, and would read more by this author. I recommend it.
Winner of the 2020 Hugo Award for Best Novel
Ambassador Mahit Dzmare arrives in the center of the multi-system Teixcalaanli Empire only to discover that her predecessor, the previous ambassador from their small but fiercely independent mining Station, has died. But no one will admit that his death wasn’t an accident―or that Mahit might be next to die, during a time of political instability in the highest echelons of the imperial court.
Now, Mahit must discover who is behind the murder, rescue herself, and save her Station from Teixcalaan’s unceasing expansion―all while navigating an alien culture that is all too seductive, engaging in intrigues of her own, and hiding a deadly technological secret―one that might spell the end of her Station and her way of life―or rescue it from annihilation.